Bubble escape and drag race for schools

here are many different types of volcanoes. Shield volcanoes have a broad rounded shape and gentle splattery eruptions often described as fire fountains. Strato volcanoes are sharp and steep sided and have violent explosive eruptions. But what makes these two types of volcano look and erupt so differently? It is mainly controlled by how think (viscous) or runny the magma in the volcano is...

In this experiment you can use 3 different thickness (viscosity) liquids to see what differences runny or thick magma can cause in volcanoes.

Vinegar Volcano for schools

Volcanoes form when hot molten rock (magma) under the ground erupts at the surface, but what causes the molten rock to erupt? Eruptions are often driven by gases escaping…

In this experiment you can start a chemical reaction that creates a gas, and see how the gas escaping drives an eruption.

This experiment and video was devised by the Volcano Seismology group in the Earth Science Department, University of Cambridge.

Download the instructions and information sheet.

Sedgwick Museum: School visits

We offer facilitated workshops and self-led visits. There is no charge for our school sessions, but we welcome donations to support the Museum learning programme (recommended donation of £2 per child). Get in touch with the Museum Education Coordinator to discus your visit museumeducation@esc.cam.ac.uk

Gravel Hunters at school

It might not look very exciting but flint gravel has a story to tell of a warm chalky sea that covered a lot of England about 90 million years ago. That’s when dinosaur were around although they were not living in this particular sea. Sometimes flint filles the holes made by borrowing animals and sometimes, if we’re lucky it enclosed the remains of sea creatures meaning it is great place to look for fossils.

Earth and Space

About the Session 

This set of activities covers and expands on the Year 5 national curriculum unit "Earth and Space", using objects from the Whipple Museum to explore:

The solar system

Terrestrial, celestial and planetary globes

The earth's movement around the sun

Space science today 

Duration: Can be booked as: 

A 90-minute session in the museum - you can find an example timetable for a museum session here

Bag of bones

It is really unusual for a palaeontologist (scientist who study fossils) to find a complete skeleton with all the bones in the right place. We are more likely to find only a few bones or a jumbled up skeleton.

Putting a skeleton back to together when you know what the animal looks like can be a challenge, but imagine how hard that becomes when there are no more of those creatures alive for you look at. It is a bit like trying to put a jigsaw puzzle together when you don’t have the photo on the box as a guide.

Bouncy 'sea urchin' egg

How does burning fossil fuels threaten Antarctic marine life?

This experiment demonstrates the link between increasing carbon dioxide levels and ocean acidification and freshening oceans. Freshwater and more acidic water in the oceans make life harder for Antarctica’s marine animals.

The experiment and video were made by Nick Barrett. Nick is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge Earth Science Department and The British Antarctic Survey investigating the resistance of Antarctic marine species to predicted freshening and lower salinity in the Southern Ocean.